Why is the Wavescape Surf and Ocean Festival so important to me? This question has wandered around my mind for some time now. A constant puzzle with endless pieces scattered across every corner of my conscious with no clear doorway to an answer.
My journey is not helped by the usual narratives being perpetuated by the media to enhance sales and attendance. It is same story covering the latest movie or fund-raising event hosted by the same people at the same venue. The masses with their laboured excitement reminding me of friends who only text on your birthday but forget we live the other 364 days of the year as well. The experience feels regurgitated and at times unimaginative. This of course still does not answer why this festival is so important to me. I had to search deep and what I found was one of the most humbling experiences.
I’m sure many of you are aware, as I have mentioned it so many times in other articles; I did not grow up surfing. I found this amazing sport very late in life and through my own desire created Wavish. In doing so becoming a voice with surfing being the base of its expression. By creating surf poetry and writing articles based off what I felt about the culture. I believed I could share my passion with others and hopefully overtime, they could begin to feel the ocean they way I do. There is another side to the story though. I wanted to be a part of something. I wanted to belong. As much as I steer away from competitive surfing and the global mechanism that is the surf industry. The lure of being a part of an ever-growing community is just in my nature. Surfing drew me in.
Although this discussion with myself was a good start, it still did not paint the entire picture for me as to why the Wavescape Festival is such big part of my life. I had to look further back. Further into my sporting past. Playing cricket, rugby and soccer always filled up my weeks and months with practice and games on the weekend. My youth was filled with tournaments, tours and leagues where I was able to meet people of like-minded interest and create friendships that have lasted till this day. We bonded through sport and the love of it.
This is in total contrast to my surfing journey as an adult where everything I have done has been mostly on my own with the odd occasion where I would get to surf with some people. Beyond time in the water, I never get to speak or express my passion with others in a relatable way.
All of this changed once I took some friends to a Wavescape Festival event at Jack Black Brewery. These guys don’t surf, have no clue about the community but within the first hour I knew this was the best idea. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. Being able to show my friends and family what this culture that I love so dearly is all about. From the movies to showcase events I was truly humbled by the opportunity that the Wavescape Festival gave me to share my passions for the first time. It created the drive that stands behind Wavish as a brand. It is an idea that we can share our passions for surfing with different social circles and cultures. Through being relevant and accessible we create a narrative which opens surfing’s doors to many others. In that one memory, I found the answer.
I realised why the festival means so much to me. Why I go to the Labia and drink some slushies’ with my mates. Why we sit in the cold at Clifton or donate to every cause at each event. It is because this is the only time of the year surfing is made relatable to non-surfers. For me who does not have a lot of friends that surf, it is such a blessing. It fills my heart to invite my family and friends to experience something that is uniquely surfing. A way to get your dad to come “watch the game” or have your friends out for a beer within a setting that speaks only of wax and barrels. A back ground for surfers in a playground for everyone. Thank you Wavescape for always making this lonely surfer feel like he is a part of something.
See you out there